All Kids Can Thrive

A Holistic Education Resource for a Successful and Conscious Classroom

Non-Fiction - Education
226 Pages
Reviewed on 07/28/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cassie Widjaja for Readers' Favorite

All Kids Can Thrive by Sheena L. Smith is a comprehensive guide for those working with children or having children with or without disabilities. Educators and parents will discover various approaches, tools, and strategies to wholly empower each child to strive for balance within their mind, body, and spirit. Having been a special education assistant for over 20 years and raising four children, including two with special needs, Sheena understands fully the challenges children face daily, whether at home or within the educational system. Several takeaways for educators include how your intuition is one of your best assets when working with children and the secrets to building positive relationships and connections.

All Kids Can Thrive is an absolute lifesaver for educators and parents seeking advice on helping children reach their full potential. Sheena L. Smith identifies the main areas for development and provides practical strategies for tackling the problem. By including groundbreaking research from top individuals such as Maria del Carmen Salazar, Sheena made her book as comprehensive and informative as possible. Sheena also did an incredible job of explaining how having empathy and good personal relationships do wonders for a growing child. With smooth transitions between each section, I found myself unable to tear myself away from the book. Above all, though, I love how Sheena sees children as complete the way they are, and her vision shines through her writing. For those planning to engage with children in any way, this book will remind you of the incredible opportunity and responsibility to guide a young child into their future!

Astrid Iustulin

Educating children is the most delicate and demanding task for a teacher. Whether they have disabilities or not, children need adequate education to unleash their full potential. This, however, is only possible if teachers themselves take care of their physical and psychological well-being before everything else. In All Kids Can Thrive, Sheena L. Smith shares her forty years of experience by providing helpful advice to anyone connected with children's education. By presenting resources, courses, and recent studies, Smith offers a comprehensive picture and invites the development of all the mental, physical, and spiritual faculties of children.

After my graduation, I realized that something was missing in my education, especially from an emotional point of view. Therefore, I am infinitely grateful to Sheena L. Smith for bringing to our attention that children's education, especially in our fast-changing times, must be as comprehensive as possible. All Kids Can Thrive demonstrates how important it is to take care of every aspect of children's education and presents the most informed, clear approach I have ever found. By now, the old school model is out of date, and I am thrilled that a competent and knowledgeable person like Smith is conveying the information that children need to develop emotional skills and self-confidence, not merely study a subject. I also liked that the author emphasized how important it is for teachers to take care of themselves. Only in this way do they set the correct example for children (and children learn by example!). I recommend reading All Kids Can Thrive to both teachers and parents. It will offer an insightful analysis of the best education to give to all children.

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

All Kids Can Thrive: A Holistic Education Resource for a Successful and Conscious Classroom by Sheena L. Smith is a comprehensive guide. The titles of the various chapters give us a taste of what is to come: teach, honor, respect, inspire, value, elevate and evolve through hope, to which you can add "Judge not! Meet the needs of all students, whatever they are” What else is there to add? Teaching holistically is a need. We do not teach objects but diverse human beings with so many different requirements, skills, issues, and emotions. The author’s introduction underlining her 40-year career but also her personal life sets the tone. Then we start reading and the book does keep its promises.

All Kids Can Thrive by Sheena L. Smith is a must-read guide for teachers, teachers-to-be, and of course parents (who are teachers whether they want it or not). I could not agree more with one quote: “Love is all that matters.” How many times have I noticed that being loved and understood was what drove my students? The author’s messages are clear, logical and can only touch us and make us want to be better teachers, improve our ways, and pay attention to all types of differences. Sheena always bases everything she says on research and useful quotes. She is engaging while being perfectly efficient. This book is a treasure to keep and gift.

Vincent Dublado

At once affecting and informative, All Kids Can Thrive: A Holistic Education Resource for a Successful and Conscious Classroom is a clear-eyed and wholehearted evidence-based approach to dealing with children with disabilities. Relying on a combination of theory and practice in her forty years of experience in working with children, educator and author Sheena L. Smith shares her best practices to help ensure that children emerge with a strong sense of self-worth and determination, whether or not they have disabilities. Among the key approaches highlighted in this book are strategies for raising consciousness in the classroom, preventing burnouts, methods to help students build new neural pathways, and the basics of the Polyvagal theory and how it can benefit your students. By applying the tools presented herein, you help to give children the social and emotional tools they need to work through challenges.

I rarely encounter invaluable books like All Kids Can Thrive, where useful information is provided to help children with disabilities reach their full potential. Sheena L. Smith writes with genuine passion and devotion to her chosen vocation, and her experience is not limited to the classroom, as she puts into practice what she imparts in dealing with her own children. This student-centered work, however, is not limited to empowering children, as it similarly leads you to discover that your self-care and well-being are essential pieces in the puzzle when helping young people thrive. The methods she presents will give you new ways to connect with students with a deep level of self-care to truly enjoy teaching. It’s a win-win situation. Needless to say, if you are looking for ways to help children help themselves, this book is your best companion.

Joanne Ang

All Kids Can Thrive is a guidebook written by Sheena L. Smith on smart teaching. Sheena Smith shares her secrets on maximizing a child’s learning capacity through the many tips and tricks in this concise book. This guidebook offers all that is needed in understanding the ins and outs of teaching and handling children with or without special needs. This step-by-step guide will surely empower you in your teaching abilities, conquering any problems and challenges that lie ahead as an educator, or even a homeschooling parent.

All Kids Can Thrive by Sheena L. Smith is a fantastically written guidebook in handling all types of kids, including those with special needs. During one of the summer holidays, I volunteered to teach in a special needs school, and I experienced first-hand the helplessness of not knowing what to do. I really liked how Sheena connected to me by understanding the frustration that I felt at the time. Sheena’s book has successfully addressed the intimidating and very serious issue of how to let special children grow to their fullest potential. Sheena also did a great job of laying down the nitty-gritty details of teaching efficiently and effectively, providing a deeper level of understanding within a child’s mindset, as well as showing me the best way to engage their attention and willingness to learn new things in a safe environment. All Kids Can Thrive is one of the most in-depth books on teaching that I have come across. Needless to say, I am very impressed!